We’ve all been there – stuck on a seemingly endless conference call while our inbox fills up and the day’s deadlines go out of the window. If you feel like you waste hours and hours of time on conference calls that wander off course or drag on endlessly, you need a few rules to keep them on track.

Before you set up your next CChat group call with colleagues of customers, give everyone you’ll be speaking with a copy of the following tips and rules. They’re sure to be just as happy as you are when your call ends on time, with no precious minutes wasted!

  1. Create an agenda

Just as you would with a face-to-face meeting, it’s worthwhile creating an agenda for your conference call and circulating to all parties (you can send the file via CChat to everyone due to participate on the call).

The agenda will not only provide structure to the call so it doesn’t veer off course mid-way through, it will also ensure that all participants can prepare for the call and gather together any information or questions needed ahead of speaking. This again helps to keep the call on track as you shouldn’t need to wait around as someone tries to find a key file or report.

  1. Only suggest a group call when it’s really necessary

Ask yourself if it’s really necessary to have a group call before you set one up. If there isn’t a clear need for it – if you could have a video call with just one person or call in reports via email for example – it isn’t a productive use of your time.

Many people learn to dread conference calls because they simply aren’t a productive use of a precious commodity; time. So, make sure your calls aren’t met with dread when you suggest one by resolving only to book one in when it’s really necessary.

  1. Schedule participation if needed

Another way you can help to keep your business or project ticking along at maximum efficiency and the call on track is to schedule participation. That means you won’t have several people sitting around waiting to speak because they aren’t needed for the first half an hour. Let your group chat participants know when they are needed and then add them to the call a few minutes before. This technique helps to keep the call focused and ensures that it’s efficient, productive and a smart use of time.

Another benefit of this tactic is you won’t have too many voices and conflicting opinions on the call at the same time – a sure fire way to send your group call quickly off track!